Tibor Hajto and Angelika Kirsch
Department of Immunology and Biotechnology, University Pecs, Faculty of Medicine, Pecs, Hungary
Private Praxis, Paradiesstr. 14, Binningen CH-4102, Switzerland
Background: Metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma often has a multifocal tumor pattern with markedly depressed hepatic function. Hepatic resection in many cases results in no long-term benefit. After a chemotherapy hepatic tumors rarely disappear completely and the duration of responses is short. In the last decades growing evidence suggested that a disturbed balance in the innate system can also play a role in the poor prognosis of hepatic tumors.
Objectives: The aim of this article is to present and discuss several favorable clinical responses of patients with hepatic metastases who parallel to conventional oncologic therapy, were treated with immunologically effective and standardized plant extracts.
Course of Therapy and Results: In accordance with the bell-shaped dose-response relationship of mistletoe lectins (MLs), the patients were treated with a fermented mistletoe extract (ME) preparation, standardized for the active sugarbinding lectin contents. Thus, an optimal dose between 0.5 and 1.0ng/kg MLs was given twice a week subcutaneously. In addition to ML therapy, a heteropolysaccharide rice bran preparation standardized for arabinoxylan (12-45mg/kg MGN-3/BiobranR twice a week) and wheat germ extract (WGE) standardized for 2, 6-dimethoxy-p-benzoquinone (50-80mg/kg AvemarR four times a week) was also given. In these case reports the clinical progress of seven patients showed a complete or nearly complete remission of hepatic metastases.
Conclusion: ML, MGN-3 and WGE seem to be potent candidates to be regarded as a supportive therapy to surgery, hormone treatment or chemotherapy for patients with hepatic metastases. These case reports require further clinical studies.
Keywords: Hepatic metastasis, immunomodulation, mistletoe extract, mistletoe lectin, arabinoxylan, MGN-3, wheat germ extract, benzoquinone.